By the time the Royal Rumble match had ended, all the dust had settled and Randy Orton stood tall as the victor, I found myself thinking ‘Man, I should have really gotten drunk for this.’. The match overall left me deflated. Maybe it was because I hedged my bets on Finn Balór being number 30, maybe it’s because number 30 was ROMAN REIGNS. Maybe it’s because ROMAN REIGNS lost his Universal Championship match against Kevin Owens. Maybe… Just maybe it’s that ROMAN REIGNS was there to make the winner look not so bad.
I can’t say that it was all on Roman Reigns, but I find it quite peculiar that there would be an open slot for the Rumble match mere hours before the match would even begin. You could make an argument that they might have bumped a nostalgia act for him, but since there were no nostalgia acts in this rumble, it seems like a long shot.
In fact, I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of nostalgia acts in this Rumble match. Usually we get at least one, and it’s why I keep on watching year in year out. I enjoy the excitement of seeing a superstar who hasn’t been around for years re-emerge if only for one night. For example…
2012: Mick Foley; entered number 7 and lasted 6:34, Ricardo Rodriguez; entering at 8 and lasting 2:19, Jerry Lawler, lasting 43 seconds, Booker T; lasting 4:40, MICHAEL COLE; lasting 1:23, Kharma; lasting one minute in her debut match… and last match, chalking up the elimination of Hunico, and finally The Road Dogg; lasting 4:55 before being tossed by Wade Barrett.
2013: Chris Jericho; returning from his hiatus with Fozzy and lasting over 47 minutes & The Godfather; who lasted 5 seconds… Ladies.
2014: JBL; lasting 49 seconds before being eliminated by ROMAN REIGNS.
2015: Bubba Ray Dudley; lasting about five and a half minutes, The Boogeyman; lasting 47 seconds and Diamond Dallas Page; eliminated in 2 minutes 47 seconds by Rusev. I had drawn DDP in a sweepstakes, and vowed to drink hot sauce if he was eliminated before number 20. He didn’t make it.
2016: Triple H; the only non-active star to enter the Rumble, coming out of a somewhat retired state to win the whole God-damn thing and capture his 14th WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
2017: No-one. Not one nostalgia act. In fact, the only surprise was ROMAN REIGNS entering number 30. Oh, and Tye Dillinger entering number 10, because gimmicks.
Not even a tease of Kurt Angle. Sure, I wouldn’t expect Angle to go in, but use his music to generate some heat… Hell, even using Daniel Bryan’s music to let Miz carry on his mini-feud with the Smackdown GM, get the fans to hate him a little more and… Nothing. Nada.
It’s not that the Rumble was terrible. Far from it. I would have been fine with a Randy Orton victory without the smokescreen that looked suspiciously like a soggy ROMAN REIGNS. I also quite enjoyed Braun Strowman’s mini-rampage that earned him 7 eliminations with Big Show and Mark Henry being ousted. “How can anyone eliminate [INSERT GIANT HERE]?” indeed.
Other noteworthy things was Brock Lesnar’s run of bad luck against Goldberg continued. He was dumped out by The Man in 4:30. ROMAN REIGNS eliminated The Undertaker… Yeah. And taunted him saying “This is my yard now!”, so we have a fair idea of who ‘Taker is facing at Wrestlemania and Chris Jericho broke Triple H’s record of total combined time in the ring during Royal Rumble matches.
Oh…. And Seth Rollins was banned from the building and the security actually DID THEIR JOBS(!!) and kept him out… Or Seth didn’t wanna invade anyway, NXT was good enough.
From here, I may not watch again until actual Wrestlemania. I’m not that much of a sadomasochist to subject myself to 3 hours of Raw each week. Smackdown’s way better, but I’m kinda burned out on WWE. I’ll stick to NXT and the Big Four.